Sprawling Candide, With Geoff Packard and Lauren Molina, Opens at the Huntington Sept. 21

News   Sprawling Candide, With Geoff Packard and Lauren Molina, Opens at the Huntington Sept. 21
Tony Award winner Mary Zimmerman's adaptation of the Leonard Bernstein operetta Candide, starring Geoff Packard and Lauren Molina, officially opens Sept. 21 at the Huntington Theatre Company in Boston, after previews that began Sept. 10.

Lauren Molina and Geoff Packard
Lauren Molina and Geoff Packard Photo by Liz Lauren

A Tony winner for Metamorphosis, Zimmerman premiered her vision of Candide at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago early last fall in a co-production with Washington, DC's Shakespeare Theatre Company, where it arrived in late November. Zimmerman has expanded the scope of the musical to incorporate more material from the original Voltaire novel. Candide will continue through Oct. 16.

The Huntington production reunites many players from the original engagements, including Helen Hayes Award winners Packard in the title role and Molina (Ten Cents a Dance, Sweeney Todd, Rock of Ages) as Cunegonde. Also returning in principal roles are Larry Yando as Pangloss and Erik Lochtefeld as Maximilian.

The Boston company also includes Cheryl Stern (Old Lady), McCaela Donovan (Pacquette), Tom Aulino (Martin), Spencer Curnutt (Sailor), Alexander Elisa (Soldier), Rebecca Finnegan (Vanderdendur), Evan Harrington (Orator), Abby Mueller (Orator’s Wife), Jeff Parker (Anabaptist), Jesse Perez (Cacambo), Emma Rosenthal (Bird), Cheryl Stern (Old Lady), Timothy John Smith (Governor), Joey Stone (Soldier), Tempe Thomas (Queen of El Dorado), Travis Turner (Servant) and swings Tom Hamlett, Shonna McEachern and Matt Spano.

Candide has music by Bernstein, book by Hugh Wheeler, lyrics by Richard Wilbur, Stephen Sondheim, John LaTouche, Lillian Hellman, Dorothy Parker and Bernstein.

The creative team includes Doug Peck (musical direction), Daniel Pelzig (choreography), Dan Ostling (scenic design), Mara Blumenfeld (costume design), Timothy J. Gerckens (lighting design) and Richard Woodbury (sound design). According to the Huntington, "The quick-paced story follows the young Candide, living on his Baron uncle’s manor estate and studying the philosophy of Dr. Pangloss, who teaches that everything happens for the best. When Candide and the Baron’s daughter Cunegonde fall in love and are discovered, they are cast out into the world. The audience takes a satirical ride with the pair through adventures and misfortunes that test their seemingly undoubting optimism."

Phone (617) 266-0800 or visit Huntington Theatre Company.

Lauren Molina, Timothy John Smith and Cheryl Stern
Lauren Molina, Timothy John Smith and Cheryl Stern Photo by T. Charles Erickson
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